DutchAmsterdam.nl — Amsterdam is beautiful any time of the year, and January is no exception — provided you dress for the occasion.
According to the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, January is the coldest month in most of the Netherlands. Along the sea coast February is slightly colder yet, when the water of the North Sea is at its coldest.
Note that we’ve just experienced an unusually mild December — after a years in which the weather from month to month has not been quite normal. Each month brought weather patterns out of tune with what was to be expected.
Like last, January 2013 is off to very mild start as well. Of course in Holland ‘mild’ often means ‘rain,’ and we have had lots of that.
But let’s look at what’s normal: in Amsterdam the average temperature during the month of January is 2.7º Celsius (36.68º Fahrenheit). That’s cold, especially when there’s a stiff wind. It’s a rainy month as well.
You can also expect anywhere from five to eight days of snow.
Sure enough… this year Amsterdam, like the rest of the Netherlands, received a nice blanket of snow.
On average there will be 50 hours of sunshine — spread out over the entire month.
That said, while you may see many gray and gloomy days, from time to time there will be several hours worth of blue, cloudless skies. When that happens grab the opportunity to take postcard-perfect photographs of Amsterdam’s sunlit streets and canals. Since the trees are bare, many canal-side façades that are otherwise quite hidden from view are now more easy to see.
Mind you, we’re talking averages here. January can be must colder or much milder. January 2007 was so mild that birds, plants and trees were confused into acting like it was spring. Conversely, January 2010 turned out to be one of the snowiest in a long time.
As always, go with the flow. Plan to see some of Amsterdam’s many museums during inclement weather.
Tip: Films shown in Dutch movie theaters are shown in their original languages — subtitled in Dutch.
What to wear in Amsterdam in January
Warm clothes are a must, and you will want to wear a winter proof/waterproof coat or jacket.
A good, windproof hat is not a luxury and no one will look at your funny if you happen to be wearing earmuffs. Complete you outfit with a scarf and gloves.
Don’t forget warm socks and padded insoles.
As always, dress in layers because restaurants, café’s and homes are well-heated.
Amsterdam weather facts: January
• Average lows: -0.5° C (31° F)
• Average highs: 4.4° C (40° F)
Sunrise & Sunset
• January 1 – 8:51 a.m. / 4:38 p.m.
• December 31 – 8:24 a.m. / 5:26 p.m.
• Average 72mm (2.8 inches) in 72 hours
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